These are the heavy-hitters. Sometimes I try to get by relying on physical or intellectual tricks, but ultimately they end up failing. Spiritual resources, on the other hand, have never failed me. They may not make my trials and temptations go away, but they give me the strength to overcome them, and the perspective to be happy even in the midst.

Scripture study is way more than just reading the scriptures at night before I go to sleep. It's a dedicated study of the scriptures - and requires time, effort, and planning. I have to think about what I'm going to study, or else my study isn't really effective. I find that when I study with the intent to teach others - to help others apply the scriptures in their lives, then it becomes most effective. Whatever I'm studying, I try to read the Book of Mormon every day.

Fasting is another powerful tool - one that helps me realize that I can overcome my physical temptations. Sometimes I just fast during Fast Sunday; sometimes I fast for a few days in the middle of the week. Going without food and water helps me to turn to the Lord - every time I think about eating, I think about God and ask Him to help me in whatever I need to accomplish. The blessings of fasting are amazing - I feel a strength way beyond anything that just going without food could accomplish. It also helps me think more about other people - the people in the world who are starving and suffering. That puts my trials into perspective.

Worship at the temple is essential, at least once a week in my case. I need to talk with God on a frequent basis, and at the temple, amidst the peace and quiet, when I have dedicated a few hours of my time, I find it easier to focus my thoughts and listen to the voice of the Spirit. It's in the temple that I regain my hope and perspective, that I'm able to see how my trials and struggles fit into the Plan that God created for me. I walk in, and may feel awful... but as I walk out, the only thing I can feel is the love that God has for me... and peace that it will all work out in the end if I am faithful.

To be continued
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